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article imageToronto school board approves use of cellphones in class Special

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By KJ Mullins     May 19, 2011 in World
Toronto - The Toronto School Board trustees have approved a motion that allows for the appropriate in-school usage of cell phones, PDAs, smart phones and like electronic devices for students.
On Wednesday night the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Trustees have decided to amend past policies that disallowed the use of cell phones in the class room. This measure will allow individual teachers to determine the use of personal electronic devices during classroom teaching and learning according to their website.
Students will also be allowed to use their phones outside of the classroom as long as it does not distract from other students learning or school activities. The new policy will take effect in September.
Cell phones had been banned for the past four years.
The trustees also have agreed to have solar panels installed on hundreds of school rooftops. This measure will provide the TDSB with millions of square feet in roof replacement and Toronto communities with clean, green solar energy.
Elementary students may also have more choices when it comes to alternative learning options with 10 Elementary Alternative Learning Options (EALO) being considered. These options include sports and wellness academies, vocal music, and gender related leadership academies.
Jenny Williams, a student trustee with the Toronto School Board, said during a phone interview that the policy came after reviewing the cell phone issue for the past six months including the removal of cell phones from students using them.
"We found some of the teachers were very strict about enforcing the rules of no cell phones while others really didn't bother with those rules. This policy makes the rules the same across the board for all students."
Use of cell phones in the classroom will be allowed on a "teacher by teacher" basis Williams said.
For students who use their phones in order to cyber bully another student the code of conduct still applies and strict consequences will be enforced.
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